Corpses For Show
I saw the 'BODIES' knock-off exhibit in NYC about ten years ago. I agree with Cyr that it is basically a modern freak show. I was really disturbed that all of the bodies displayed were Asian, thus of dubious origin. Secondly, all of them had grey smoker's lungs, with no explanation that this is not what a healthy lung looks like. So i feel like if gave a false impression, esp. to children. I did not feel educationally enhanced or more learned after viewing the exhibit.  In fact, it almost made me feel queasy. Having a few such bodies in med school for students to study makes sense to me. But I don't think that they belong in a public museum.

As for the sex palatinate, I think that's just silly. How do you make a dead body aroused? Some living people struggle with that!  :O
We are a union of body and soul.  The soul is separated from the body at death, but this was not meant to be so from the beginning and our souls will be reunited with our bodies at the end of time.  As the Apostles' Creed says, "I believe in...the resurrection of the body...."  A dead body is not just a shell to throw away, chop up, display, or whatever.  It is God's creation- God's human creation- and it should be treated with reverence.  That is why it is a corporal work of mercy to bury the dead.  Works of mercy are more substantial than just getting rid of something before it starts to stink.
You know, this show makes me intensely uncomfortable, and I think it is because there a blatant lack of reverence for bodies which are intended to be resurrected and reunited with their souls on the Last Day.
I wouldn't always assume that students, even medical students, approach dissection with the right attitude. There is an alarming trend in parts of the United States, where high school biology studies are being sent to Coroner's Offices in order to watch autopsies. At such an early, impressionable age, that is a clear mistake. A few years ago, in Waterford, Michigan, high schoolers who visited the Coroner's Office were in for an additional treat: the decedent being autopsied was a classmate from their school who had passed away shortly before the scheduled field trip. Many students became sick or overcome with emotion and had to excuse themselves; others enjoyed it and found it "educational."

Bodies don't exist in order to facilitate learning opportunities or research (I am against selling foreskins for tissue samples, for instance). The soul, according to Aquinas, is the form of the body, and the two are in fundamental unity. The body is part of the human person, an end in itself, not a mere means, like an artistic canvas or a blackboard for teaching students. To treat it as such, even if it does produce useful results, is to contradict its essential nature.

There is also an ugly biological reductionism, a sort of physicalism, infecting our educational paradigm. Sex and health educators go into detail about the mechanics of sexual intercourse and the diversity of sexual practices, but none of them talk about love or self-giving or family, and manhood and womanhood are reduced to questions of hair growth and menstruation.

What good is knowing the name of every artery, every muscle, bone, and length of sinew, if you don't even know what a man is? Education must be concerned with transmitting wisdom, culture, and humane sensitivity, rather than just mechanistic knowledge. The body does not belong to biology, and our culture makes that mistake, given the prominence of health concerns, medical language, and the medical professions. Priests may be soul-physicians, but physicians are not priests of the body. When they miss the point, they miss the point completely. If unborn babies are "blobs of tissue," their movements and cries of pain just "nerve actions," so are we.

Our traditionalist project, I think, must necessarily include a revolution, a turning back, when it comes to how we see the body and how we "construct the self" (to borrow from sociological jargon). I support restrictions on behavior through disciplines, imposed by outside authorities, in order to inculcate a sense of dignity towards the body, in defiance of our contemporary, heathen culture. In practice, this might look like the approach taken by Orthodox Judaism when it comes to organ donation, autopsy, embalming, and cremation. Letting the surrounding culture set the terms of every significant life event, from birth to sexuality to death, kills us.
(08-07-2015, 01:45 AM)Vox Clamantis Wrote: [...] I can't see displaying the body in that was as being "undue". I can't see how it'd incite lust or necrophilia or what have you in the normal, average person, which is the only type we can deal with when dealing with huge, general things intended for a large audience. [...]

On the contrary, the greater the audience, the greater the number of individuals with particular sensitivities.  But that is beside the point.  Some things, artists should simply not design, no matter their artistic or educational merits; and some things we should not look at whether we have peculiar weaknesses or not.  Unfortunately, many of us (myself included) have been desensitized by an increasingly perverse culture and graphic film industry.  The proverbial frog is slowly boiled to death.

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